Wring the most out of iOS with the best Siri commands

Artificial intelligence is the future. Companies such as Google and Microsoft are investing a lot of their resources in it. Apple is up against Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana in a battle to win over consumers. Tech companies want you to use and rely on their digital assistants more as time goes on. We once pitted Siri against Cortana and Google Now, and though Apple’s virtual assistant is still far from perfect, it has certainly come a long way. The best Siri commands take advantage of this, and leverage new technology to bolster the convenience of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, not to mention the recently-announced HomePod.

With each new iteration of Siri, there seem to be more and more useful commands. Siri has grown over the years, and it is a big part of Apple’s development. Apple doesn’t have an official list of every Siri command, however, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the most useful Siri commands you can use. And if you’re new to iOS, we have a guide on how to use Siri.

Activating Siri

best Siri commands activate Siri

If you can’t talk to Siri, the feature may be turned off. To turn on Siri, go to Settings > Siri and toggle the slider on. Once activated, there are a few ways that you can activate Siri.

  • Press and hold the home button.
  • Go to Settings > Siri and enable Allow “Hey Siri”. Once done, you can activate Siri by saying “Hey Siri” out loud.
  • If you’re using the Earpods, press and hold the center button.
  • If you have an Apple Watch, you can activate Siri by double tapping the button below the crown.

Asking questions and basic things

best Siri commands asking Siri questions

Calling

  • “Call [name or number].”
  • “Facetime [name or number].”
  • If you want to start a call on speakerphone, you can say “Call [name or number] on speaker.”

Voicemail

  • “Check my voicemail” or “Check voicemails from [name].

Messages and email

  • “Check my messages” or “Check my email.”
  • “Read my new messages” or “Read my new email.”
  • “Send an email to [name].” Siri will then ask you to provide the subject and message. You can also say the entire command at once like this: “Send an email to [name], about [what you say here will be the subject], and say [what you say here will be the message].”

Currency conversions, calculations, and timers

  • “What is [say the amount and name of currency] into [say the name of the currency].
  • You can also convert any other measurements. For example: “What are 335 meters into feet?”
  • “What is [number] plus/minus/divided/multiplied by [number],” or for example, “What is the square root of [number].”
  • “Set a timer for [say the amount of time].
  • “Set an alarm for [time].
  • To calculate a tip, you can say “What is [percentage] of [number]?”
  • “What is [say the name of the company] stock price?”
  • “What is the weather like today?” or “What is the weather like in [say the country or city].
  • “What is the time in [say the country or city].

Controlling your device’s settings

best Siri commands turning off Bluetooth using Siri
  • “Turn on/off [Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular data, Do Not Disturb, Night Shift, or Airplane Mode].”
  • “Take a picture/selfie.”
  • “Increase/decrease brightness.”
  • When playing music you can say “Turn up/down the volume.”

Setting appointments, alarms, lists, and reminders

best Siri commands setting alarms with Siri
  • “Check my meetings.”
  • “Schedule a meeting with [name] [day and time].
  • “Remind me to [say what to remind you about] [say when you want Siri to remind you].” You can also add a location to your reminder. For example: “Remind me to call John when I get home.”
  • If you need to know what day falls on a certain date, you can ask “What day is August 12th?” Alternatively, you can say “How many days until August 12th?”
  • “Make a list called [name of list].”
  • “Add items to the list [name of list].”

Navigating and travel

best Siri commands navigating with Siri
  • “Show me the nearest [gas stations/type of restaurants/malls/etc.].
  • “How do I get to [destination] by [car/foot/bike].
  • “Take me home.”
  • “What are the traffic conditions” or “What are the traffic conditions near [name location].
  • “How long until we arrive at [destination].”
  • “Check flight status of [airline and flight number].”
  • “Show me the bus route to [destination].”

Search

best Siri commands searching with Siri
  • “Open [name of app].
  • “Define [word].”
  • “Search the App Store for [name of app or category of apps].”
  • Ask any question and Siri will search the internet. For example: “How do you cook an omelet?”
  • “Find notes/email about [say some keyword related to what you’re searching for].”
  • “Find friends near me” or “Where is [name of friend].”
  • Find photos by saying “Show me photos from [date] or of [name — if you have assigned names in the People album].”
  • “Find/download the [name of artist] podcast.”

Entertainment, sports, and music

best Siri commands check sports scores with Siri
  • “Show me the [sports team or game] scores.”
  • “Play music,” or while listening to a song, you can tell Siri to “Pause/Stop/Skip” or “play the next/previous song.”
  • “Play [name of song].” 
  • “Favorite this song”
  • “Play songs from [group].
  • “What movies are playing near me?” or “What are the movie showtimes for [name of movie/name of cinema].

Using third-party apps

best Siri commands using third-party apps with Siri

Go to Settings > Siri > App Support to find out which of your apps currently work with Siri. Lyft, Line, Facebook, Twitter, and many other apps already work with Siri.

best Siri commands using LINE with Siri

You can use commands such as:

  • “Send a [name of messaging app] message to [name of contact].”
  • “Get me a Lyft to [name of destination].”
  • “Post a message to [Facebook/Twitter].”

Fun stuff

Siri is not all business, though. You can have some fun and ask it some more obscure questions, if desired. Ask Siri to “flip a coin” or “roll the dice” and it actually will. There are plenty of funny questions to ask Siri, so try experimenting with Apple’s virtual assistant whenever you’re looking for some levity.